26th to 28th May - La Ciotat ("the not so Competent Crew")

Bali Hai
Neal Stow
Thu 28 May 2009 22:42
Our arrival in La Ciotat turned out to be a little fraught as the space that Tom had arranged for us at his shipyard was occupied by an unknown motor cruiser.  Instead we moored up against a wall, a manoeuvre that would have been impossible without Tom’s assistance as the wall towered above us and the bollards appeared to be designed hold container ships.  Relieved to be tied up we settled down for lunch.  We had only just opened the celebratory champagne when the customs officials arrived.  At the same time boatyard officials turned up and told us we would have to move to another berth in the marina.  Finally, late in the afternoon, we were settled.  We were there but I am not sure that I had managed it in quite the chilled out manner that Emma had hoped for.


It turned out that Ardva was indeed joining us in La Ciotat and she came bearing the usual pot of homemade raspberry jam.  I am not sure whether it was Ardva’s arrival that triggered it but at this point the cool efficiency of the crew seemed to evaporate for a while.


It started the following morning when Ardva was asked to empty the caftierre over the side.  Down below we heard a small squeal when Ardva discovered that the caftierre glass is not actually attached to the holder.  By some miracle the glass did not sink and bobbed about in the water next to the boat so we were able to coax it back on board.


The following day (after Tom and Carolina had taken us to a great restaurant the previous evening) Tom lent us his car to drive in to Marseille for the day.  Yachtmaster Ed was tasked with the navigation, which he achieved admirably until we had parked the car and were walking to Marseille port.  He could not understand why the road we were on was not on the map.  After ten minutes I jokingly suggested that he was looking at the La Ciotat map by mistake – at which point Ed looked very sheepish.


Emma too seemed to be losing the plot a bit.  First, she seemed to think that our next stop was actually Crete rather than Corsica.  Then, when washing up, she became confused about the need to turn the tap to “hot” for hot water to come out. When Dave commented that her hair seemed to be getting blonder, she actually thought that he was complementing her on her appearance.